One of our favorite ways to use leftover Petit Jean Hickory Smoked Ham is in grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. Only, we don’t make boring grilled sandwiches. We really like to experiment with a multitude of optional add ons and add-ins.
In this kicked up grilled ham and cheese, we are adding a deliciously creamy herbal brie, Fromager Daffinois with Garlic, and a Spicy Cranberry Mustard. Pair the smokiness of the ham, the saltiness of the brie and the heat and sweetness from the mustard, and you have a sure-fire winning combination.
We use homemade Cranberry-Jalapeño jelly (We actually prefer our homemade habanero variety, but it just might be a little too hot for some.). You could easily substitute any hot pepper jelly you prefer. Try adding in a tablespoon or two of warmed, leftover canned cranberry sauce to your pepper jelly if you need a substitute.
- 4 slices thick bread (We prefer sourdough.)
- 2-3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 recipe Spicy Cranberry Mustard (ingredients follow)
- 6 slices Petit Jean Meats E-Z Carve Ham (or leftover ham, sliced),
- 4 slices Petit Jean Meats Hickory Smoked Bacon, crisply fried
- 4 thin slices Granny Smith apple (or more depending upon size)
- 2 - 4¼-inch slices brie cheese (Cheddar or smoked Gouda also work nicely)
- Spicy Cranberry Mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Sriracha mustard or spicy mustard
- 1-2 Tablespoons cranberry-jalapeño jelly, to taste
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped smoked almonds, optional
- Coarse black pepper
- Heat a large cast iron skillet or panini press over low heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all mustard ingredients. Set aside.
- Spread Spicy Cranberry Mustard to cover the insides of the bread slices.
- On 1 of the inside pieces of bread, layer the bacon, 2-3 full ham slices stacked, 2 apple slices, and 2 slices brie. (Cut ham, apple and brie to fit your bread.)
- Top with the remaining bread slice, inside down.
- Spread the outsides of each bread slice with softened butter.
- Add to the heated skillet and allow to toast slowly* before flipping the sandwiches over to toast the remaining side. (Cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil to aid in melting the cheese and heating the ham thoroughly.
- Place sandwich on a cutting board and allow to cool slightly. Cut in half diagonally and serve.
Growing up cooking at the knees of two grandmothers who fed large extended families and fed them well, Debbie Arnold early on developed a passion for creativity in the kitchen. A self-professed cookbook addict, food magazine junkie and Arkansas lover, she began her blog in 2008 as a way of bringing all of these together in a record for family and friends. She serves as an administrator for Arkansas Women Bloggers after recently retiring from a career in education. She and her husband, Circuit Judge Gary M. Arnold split their time between their homes in Central and Northwest Arkansas. When not traveling, cooking or blogging, she spends time growing heirloom tomatoes in her hobby garden, down from 33 varieties in 2007 to only five last year – but she’s reconsidering that. You may find her there with dirt under her fingernails and pearls around her neck.